Sir Frederick Nathaniel Ballantyne, GCMG, MD, DSc
Former Governor-General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Sir Frederick Nathaniel Ballantyne was a former Governor-General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He is the longest serving Governor-General of the country, having been in office from 2 September 2002 to 31 July 2019.
Early life and education
Sir Frederick was born on 5 July 1936, as his parents' only child. Ballantyne was the first member of his family to attend high school. He completed an initial degree in chemistry at Howard University (in Washington DC), and then went on to the SUNY Upstate Medical University (in Syracuse, New York) to study medicine. The "sole black individual" enrolled in the medical school, Ballantyne was elected to student government in every year of his degree, and in his final year was elected student body president. He interned in at the Montreal General Hospital after graduation, and then completed his residency in internal medicine in Rochester, New York, followed by a fellowship in cardiology.
Sir Frederick has had a long and distinguished career as a medical doctor, educator, and administrator. He served as Chief of Medicine at Kingstown General Hospital (now called the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital); and from 1985 to 1992 as Chief Medical Officer of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He remained involved in medicine after his official retirement from practising, in a consulting role.
In the area of medicine, Sir Frederick has been actively involved in improving the lives of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines through a variety of initiatives, including decentralising the health service, starting a vigorous family planning programme, and working with colleagues to start the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Heart Association and Diabetes Association. He also spearheaded the Visiting Specialist Program that continues today with visiting specialists in urology, neurology and ophthalmology along with a permanent paediatrician position. Ballantyne has been involved in the upgrade of the physical facilities of the General Hospital and District Clinics and expanded the immunisation programme that ensures that 100 percent of school children are vaccinated. He has sought to influence the government’s health care policy, making it more affordable and accessible.
Sir Frederick has also been a successful entrepreneur with several business enterprises, including real estate, marina operations, pharmaceuticals and operations in the hospitality industry. He was also the founder of International Business Services Limited, a financial services provider now run by his son, Marcus, and co-owner of the Young Island Resort Hotel.
Sir Frederick was appointed the Governor-General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on 2 September 2002. He replaced Monica Dacon who had been interim Governor-General after the death of Sir Charles Antrobus.
Sir Frederick demitted office on 31 July 2019 because of health reasons.
Honours and awards
In November 2002, in connection with his new appointment, he was created a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (KCMG) by Queen Elizabeth II.
In 2009, Sir Frederick received an Honorary Doctor of Sciences (DSc) degree at the graduation ceremony of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus.
Sir Frederick passed away at his home in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday, 23 January 2020 at the age of 83. He was accorded a State Funeral on Wednesday, 29 January 2020 at the Kingstown Methodist Church. Interment was at the Kingstown Cemetery.